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State of the Industry: Oncoming Train or Light at the End of the Tunnel?

Posted Dec 11, 2023 | Views 205
# Printing
# Sales and Marketing
# Production Automation
# Personalization
# Marketing
# Leadership
# Digital Marketing
# Automation

Are we heading towards an oncoming train or is there a promising light at the end of the tunnel? Our panel of experts, with years of experience navigating the evolving trends and challenges, provide a comprehensive analysis and insight of the current state of the printing industry and direct mail.

Brad Kugler, CEO/Co-Founder of DirectMail2.0 is our moderator, along with these panelists: Morgan DiGiorgio, SVP Sales & Marketing at DirectMail2.0 Tyler Dornenburg, Senior Director, Strategic Business Development at Lob Chris Foster, VP New Business Development at Modern Postcard Corey Daugherty, Sales & Strategy at Flowcode *Ray Van Iterson, Manager of Marketing Strategy & Innovation, USPS

From technological advancements to shifting consumer behaviors, we uncover the key factors shaping the industry in 2023 and explore the intriguing possibilities on the horizon for 2024.

+ Read More

0:00 let’s start with an introduction I’ll I’ll go around the room starting with myself I am Brad Kugler the CEO and

0:05 co-founder of direct mail 2.0 and uh I’ve been doing this for

0:10 about I’m gonna say almost six years now and uh I came from a completely different industry somewhat related to

0:17 Tech I was involved in e-commerce selling CDs and DVDs and uh this opportunity presented itself and my

0:26 previous 26 care year career in packaged media was being disrupted and the one

0:33 thing I knew is I did not want to be in an industry that will be disrupted so I

0:38 decided to jump the fence and become a disruptor and uh I have no regrets uh and I no longer have a

0:46 library of media It’s All Digital now so I disrupted myself in the meantime uh

0:52 next um I’m gonna introduce the rest Morgan DiGiorgio who is the senior VP

0:57 sales and marketing for Direct Mail 2.0 know she’s been here what four years and change five years I’m in my sixth year

1:05 I’ve been here for a long time Brad yeah how time flies well thank you Morgan uh

1:11 a lot of you may know her or have talked to her or seen her she’s probably the

1:16 more frequent face of the company and does a lot of speaking gigs and talks to a lot of printers uh next we have Tyler

1:24 dornberg hopefully I didn’t butcher the last name and uh Tyler what’s tell me

1:30 again your title there I’m sorry these weren’t on the on the thing no that’s fine um actually actually uh recently

1:36 promoted to our VP of strategic sales position as of last week so um company

1:42 for about thank you so much guys been with the company for about five years we’re on a lot of different hats from uh

1:48 fulfillment to uh product operations to Partnerships but uh now working inside of our goto Market team and managing our

1:54 strategic accounts strategic book of business good in case anybody doesn’t know what lob.com is it’s probably take

2:01 you two seconds to type it into your browser and you’ll find out but uh I don’t even want to Tyler why don’t you

2:07 tell them in a sent or too uh broad Strokes uh Direct Mail automation platform um focusing specifically on um

2:14 building apis to help Fortune 500 sent direct M scale thank you thank you all

2:19 right Foster of modern postcard um funny story is in my previous career of

2:26 selling CDs and DVDs uh I was a customer of theirs in the 90s and they did a lot

2:31 of postcards for us and uh I think it was even before Chris was there I don’t

2:37 think you’ve been there 30 years or 25 years have you no been there I two two stints I’ve been there a long time okay

2:44 all right uh they were our primary vendor and I know them as a company that definitely Embraces technology with

2:50 direct mail so Chris tell us what your uh position is and your primary responsibilities there I’m the VP of new

2:57 business development and uh in Broad Strokes to use Tyler’s term I seek out

3:04 new life forms and New Opportunities um to and boldly go and push the business forward so embracing and finding new

3:10 technology Partners pulling that into our core offerings uh getting our sales and corporate sales teams up and ready

3:16 so that they can help our customers use these services to get more customers themselves thank you Chris it’s been a

3:24 pleasure working uh and learning about your company over the years almost 30 years to be honest likewise know you

3:31 though um all right Corey Corey I met recently from flow codes uh I’m sure

3:38 we’ve all seen or used QR codes uh thanks to the pandemic in recent years

3:43 something which has been around for 20 some years is now mainstream because of that and uh

3:49 obviously uh Corey’s business has benefited from that and I think a lot of people are understanding the use of flow

3:55 codes in print and advertising so Corey tell us about your position and loow Cates yeah appreciate it um I am head of

4:03 Business Development and have had you know a lot of a lot of different roles at at the startup been here for about

4:10 five years uh started in more of a product role but now in you know more of a API Business Development Partnerships

4:17 role um and again I’ll use the I’ll use the broad Strokes terminology of of what

4:23 flow code is is trying to achieve we’re not specifically in the print or direct

4:28 mail world um we’re very fortunate that QR code technology has become ubiquitous

4:34 as Brad mentioned but you know we’re we’re trying to turn any any point of

4:41 intent or interest into a moment of action and and you’re able to do that

4:46 through flow codes and QR codes and and our Enterprise you know premium uh

4:51 platform so really fortunate to be here and looking forward to the conversation thank you very much Corey and last but

4:57 not least Ray from the United States Post Office who I must credit is being one of the most

5:04 technology forward guys that I’ve met at the US Post Office and really is taking

5:10 probably one of the longest standing oldest government institutions and really helping to forge it into the 21st

5:18 century and uh he’s taken the lead in the last couple of months to sort of

5:23 help us put together a group of enablers of direct mail using the latest techn

5:29 ology so Ray why don’t you give us a little background on what you do and and what your title

5:36 is yeah so I lead marketing strategy at the postal service and I’ve actually been here like 18 or more years now it’s

5:43 getting a little insane um and you know so what I’m trying to do is to really

5:48 help all of us become more effective marketers today there’s a lot of digital

5:54 technology out there and there’s a lot of direct mail and we’ve all learned that Omni channel is better

6:00 than each individually this is truly a case of 1 + 1 equaling three um and

6:06 everybody else who you’re seeing pictures of the better looking people here you know all are driving the technology on the direct mail side and

6:13 what I’m trying to do is to figure out how we connect all of that with the 10,000 apps doing technology on the

6:19 digital side so we can all send Omni Channel campaigns easily and measure them all

6:25 effectively and thank you Ray your efforts are definitely appreciated and I I really do appreciate the USPS sort of

6:33 being and and taking on this role to help push the integration of digital

6:39 technology into Inc on paper industry which has been that way for what 200

6:44 plus years so uh this is an industry for disruption and you know now as we get

6:50 into the kind of the point of the webinar it stated is the state of the industry well the state of the industry

6:55 is always in flux that’s nothing really new but you have have the kind of I

7:00 don’t want to say the critical mass but the convergence of several things which I’ve noticed in the last few years you

7:07 you are at the Crux of what I believe is a major disruption in direct

7:15 mail processing delivery targeting whatever you want to call it that we the

7:22 the the group has built a better mouse trap and I want to make sure that despite what might be happening so

7:29 socially politically economically in the country we don’t get the idea that the

7:36 industry or or Worse the entire economy is headed for a crash because I know there’s been a lot of talk in media that

7:44 there’s a Slowdown or a soft Landing or a hard landing and I think that there’s been some trepidation uh amongst

7:50 industry professionals and owners and seite members about that so one of the

7:56 things that that we like to do at dm2 is we like to understand our customers we

8:01 like to understand where where’s the head space of where people are at so what I want to do is I want to share a

8:09 uh little survey or research that we did to kind of

8:15 help understand the mindset of the industry at this point

8:20 I’m I’m assuming and plea please make confirm this that you can see a little

8:25 survey that we did and the first thing we’re going to do is we’re going to go over this survey and just kind of share

8:32 this information because you know I think it’s helpful to know attitudes because one of the biggest barriers to

8:40 moving a business or selling a product or changing an industry is understanding

8:45 what’s holding it back so if we understand what people are thinking out there in this industry then we can find

8:52 solutions that hopefully remove those blocks or those barriers so we survey 52 people in print companies across the

8:58 United States over the last couple of weeks and we basically asked them have you noticed the slowing in the economy

9:05 in the last 60 days all right uh a pretty big portion 65% said they felt

9:11 they noticed this a tightening of money now a lot of this could be due to Rising

9:17 interest rates uh when when that happens the money supply dries up so just like

9:23 economics 101 there’s less money in the system because it’s being sucked out of the system in terms of interest rates

9:29 you have a holding or a tightening of the money supply now obviously there’s people that aren’t affected by this no

9:34 matter how bad the economy gets there’s always people that do well and congratulations to them uh more power to you you know uh I

9:44 next asked what do you find what have you found most troubling okay and they

9:49 were allowed to pick as many answers as they want when I said and this was in reference to building a business growing

9:55 the business sales moving forward the the biggest one was new customer

10:00 acquisition I’m a part of another group of Technology Group who also notice the lengthening of the sales cycle where it

10:07 used to be maybe 30 to 60 days is now 90 to 120 days people are taking longer to

10:13 make decisions the next biggest one was because of inflation that we’ve heard

10:18 about the last year or two uh business and overhead costs are increasing much faster than Revenue so again these are

10:25 the things that are on people’s mind to to to a greater or less degree uh another one which you know I wanted to

10:32 bring up and it’s something that we can actually have an effect on the issue being lead gen and marketing efforts not

10:38 as effective you know I’ve run into this over my 20 or 30 years in business something called marketing fatigue maybe

10:47 just because you’ve done a marketing action that’s worked two three four five six times that doesn’t mean it’s going

10:53 to work forever you get to a point where you’ve hit that customer base so many times or they’re so saturated

10:59 that the results from that campaign where they’ve been miraculous before fall off a cliff all right so what do

11:05 you do then do you keep beating your head against the same wall or do you find something new whether it’s a it’s a

11:11 new campaign a new creative is it a new uh Prospect list better targeting

11:17 something has to be done so when I see lead gen not as effective anymore I think of marketing fatigue which is

11:24 something all of us can offer a solution for

11:29 next question there’s only six questions so this won’t go very far what actions if any have you taken as a result of the

11:37 above number one answer is I sound like Family Feud staying the course most

11:42 people are holding firm they’re not ready to like change course you know do

11:48 anything drastic which is probably a smart move you know the first sign of trouble you jump ship that’s probably

11:53 not the greatest thing the next two biggest answers were paying down debt using cash reserves to hunker down so

12:00 they’re not spending as much which may be affecting some of us on this panel and some of those listening and the

12:06 other one uh they’re increasing marketing or higher plans so so this is

12:11 somebody these are people that are going right into the face of it which I can tell you from my interaction is when

12:19 people find a slowing of the economy one of the first places they cut is marketing and it’s probably one of the

12:26 last places someone should come you know we’ve heard this story many times that most opportunities are found in a

12:32 downturn there’s less competition for the same prospects people are not

12:37 spending as much money so the people that increase the marketing efforts or do not decrease them may end up with

12:43 more market share once the economy recovers and the money supply loosens so

12:49 it’s a great argument to have when you’re talking to customers how long do you expect the

12:56 Slowdown to last I mean that’s a good one we had some interesting responses here number one was through the election

13:02 of 2024 so that is about 50 weeks from now um and depending on what happens in

13:10 the election assuming there’s no funny business or civil unrest you know that’s

13:15 a long time to wait for something to happen I mean I don’t know about you but I can’t put my business on ice for 50

13:21 weeks waiting for something to happen the next biggest response was there is no slowdown good for you again the 20 or

13:28 30 % that are have the touch of gold more power to you um maybe they should

13:36 do a webinar and tell us how they’re doing you know and this was kind of a an odd one I

13:43 put in there because I’m curious as to how much of external influences are affecting people uh from

13:51 one to 10 how affected are you and your business by planetary issues and current events specifically Ukraine us politics

13:58 Middle East social issues ETC uh the biggest

14:03 response uh was a three out of 10 all right wait number three so a lot of

14:11 people felt that it was it was affecting them a three out of 10 I mean that’s interesting you

14:17 know the next biggest one 177% called it a nine out of 10 177% of the people

14:24 think that the external influences in the world are having a huge effect on their business all right well short of

14:31 aliens landing and people thinking they don’t have to pay their mortgage because of something like that I I’m not sure

14:37 that that’s a great responsible thing to do but it’s interesting to know that there are a lot of people affected by

14:43 things going on that they watch on the news and the last one you know I was

14:49 sort of curious about this is the male growth incentive plan that’s coming out

14:55 next year um I’m wondering are people pushing mailings into next year because

15:01 they are waiting to get those numbers up for that 30% discount next

15:07 year most said no but I was surprised that 27% are actually holding back

15:13 mailings waiting to get that discount incentive next year so people are

15:19 holding back mailings waiting for the discount next year uh I don’t know if that’s such a good idea either but

15:26 anyways that that is the the survey in in its entirety if you guys

15:33 have any questions or perhaps the panel would like to chime in on anything I’m

15:40 willing to step down from the podium and let you guys

15:47 opine silence well I I’ll jump in I I think what’s interesting is the is the idea of

15:55 societal planetary changes things that are outside of a business control and and I think that one of the things that

16:00 we talked a lot about in our business um especially when Co hit is that there’s

16:05 certain things in a business that you can control right I can control marketing efforts I can control

16:11 optimization uh learn thing about our cash flow think about productivity right the cutting costs and increase in

16:17 customers those are the things um we could not control supply chain we could not control the price of paper or plates

16:25 um we couldn’t control the price necessarily of the going market for labor um right so there are certain things

16:31 that we couldn’t manage um and I think that’s separating out some of those planetary and societal issues as a

16:37 business and saying let’s only focus on the things that we can control things we can’t control can’t control figure out

16:44 how to work through or respond correctly um but I think that helped us in our

16:49 team to kind of you know not revert to kind of a chicken little Skies falling

16:54 mentality um and focus on no let’s figure out really smartly the things that are in um our our

17:02 hands absolutely I think that’s spot on we can only be we can only control what

17:07 we can control there’s nothing that any one of us on this panel or in the audience is going to do to bring peace

17:14 to the Middle East on an individual basis there’s nothing wrong with having your opinions on it or contributing to

17:21 the causes that you support but it’s not something that’s going to change or affect our daily lives so putting a lot

17:27 of attention on it I would personally consider that nonproductive but your point is well

17:33 taken let’s let’s jump into some of the prefab questions I have I’m going to

17:38 start with the first one to uh my compatriot here Morgan Morgan are you

17:45 ready I I think so yeah has digital integration I’m sorry

17:50 has integration of digital and Direct Mail been proven be beyond the shadow of a doubt and if

17:56 so tell me why and how what have you seen from your five almost six years

18:01 experience now sure yeah I mean I would say that beyond a shadow of a doubt is a pretty strong statement to make uh but

18:07 what I can say is that every reputable source of marketing data from the an napco USPS and nearly every which one in

18:14 between has provided data as the proof and effecacy of omni Channel marketing

18:20 or the integration of direct mail and digital now when you just think about it the the integration of direct mail and

18:26 digital harnesses the power of the most highly regarded marketing tactics one being repetition okay but it’s

18:32 utilization of these channels in a strategic way that can truly maximize the impact driven when combining offline

18:38 and online for example um when you take the powerful impact driven by mail it’s tangibility the high brand recall its

18:44 ability to ignite an emotional response and activate centers in the brain of long-term memory and follow that up with

18:52 repeating that seared impression through digital channels you have a high-powered conversion driven

18:59 uh marketing strategy on your hands and then flip the coin say you’re utilizing digital right the initial response is

19:04 going to a website about 96% of those people are leaving without converting and then you use technology you identify

19:11 those people you re-engage them with mail and you can thrust those prospects into conversion rates seen as high as

19:18 25% and the truth of the matter is is that in my opinion you should not be doing one without the other and the

19:26 research and data is showing also that customers are looking for campaigns like this small mailers are looking to their

19:32 marketing providers to provide them access to these resources and large mailers they’re seeking to UNS Silo

19:37 their internal marketing departments and deploy powerful Omni Channel campaigns even Google injects mail into their

19:44 marketing campaigns and here at Direct Mail 2.0 I mean we we’ve built an entire business around these marketing tactics

19:50 and when we first started Brad we were ahead of the curve right but now years

19:55 later we’ve executed tens of thousands of these campaigns and we’re showing an average of around a 23 to 46% response

20:02 rate over a standalone mail campaign and historically driven 9 to 18% conversion

20:07 rates when mail follows digital so I mean we have internally proven that this works and marketers are experiencing the

20:14 same types of results and I think that you know as there’s been more and more awareness for this H and the effess of

20:20 omni Channel over the years that you’re just seeing more and more marketing uh data out there that is is showing and

20:27 proving the effecacy of the integration of digital into mail absolutely couldn’t agree

20:34 more um let’s carry on with the next question so we can move through these and I want to give this one to Ray just

20:41 so that he can he can chime in here is there anything new USPS is planning or working on to increase the profile and

20:48 the use of mail in the next coming months or in

20:54 2024 yeah thanks for asking the question Brad and just to make sure sure you one of your survey questions was asking

21:00 about the the coming growth discount and I wanted to make sure that everybody knew what you were talking about there

21:07 we you as you know we have a regulator and we have been given permission to have a discount um for growth which

21:14 we’re incredibly excited about um and so if you are a mailer which is sending more than a million pieces any piece you

21:22 send above this year’s Baseline we’re giving you a 30% um discount credit for

21:28 future mailings and we’re doing that both on the first class mail side and on the marketing mail side um so you know

21:34 hopefully all the people uh in this you know in this um team are looking and saying okay how can we grow that and how

21:40 can we add more people because you know you were saying that there’s certain things we can’t do to change the world

21:45 you know incentives are one of the things that the postal service is trying to do to to help influence folks so

21:50 that’s a really um big thing um if you’re even bigger than that we’ve had our first Market dominant NSA um Ted ly

21:58 approved um so that if you can show us that you’re going to grow we want to absolutely work with you um and then

22:05 there’s the category of promotions many of you are probably familiar with them

22:10 but again you know we’re trying to help people um try new things in order to be

22:15 more effective in your Omni Channel campaigns um and so we’ve got one promotion around emerging and advanced

22:22 technology so if you include AR or voice

22:28 or QR codes in a mobile shopping environment or video in print or NFC if

22:33 you test these things we’re going to give you a discount for that because we think you’re going to see how effective

22:38 digital plus Direct Mail is similarly if you’re going to make your direct mail

22:44 sing by adding in a tactile or an interactive aspect folds and other

22:49 things that really touch on the various points of the brain that Morgan was talking about if you’re going to test

22:54 that we’re going to give you a discount on that if you’re gonna send in your bills and statements if you’re going to

23:00 add color and send messages there and make those Communications work better we’re going to give you a discount on

23:06 that if you’re going to use informed delivery um which allows all of your

23:11 customers to get a email every day with the um pictures of the mail they’re

23:17 receiving there’s 60 million people in the country doing that now um we’ll give you a discount on that if you’re going

23:23 to do Direct Mail retargeting as a way of combining Direct mail with digital

23:29 Behavior we’re going to give you a discount on that so we’re basically the postal service is trying to help make it

23:35 easier for you to test new ways of having a Omni Channel campaign and

23:41 hopefully you’ll find how effective it is and keep doing it excellent uh listen

23:46 that 30% discount is definitely one of the head Turners I mean normally the

23:52 discounts are what 5% at most for some very Niche area of the industry

23:58 so a lot of talk about that and I applaud the post office for really sort

24:03 of hanging their neck out there on that one so good good on that you know what I

24:08 think is interesting is if you look back at the survey that you were referencing in the beginning there’s such a large percentage of individuals who like their

24:15 biggest concern going into next year is new customer acquisition that’s all they’re thinking about they go to bed

24:20 thinking about it they wake up in the morning thinking about it but then the percentage of individuals who are actually investing more into their

24:25 marketing budget to try to solve that problem is significantly smaller it’s like maybe a third of the size of the of

24:31 the respondents right there’s this idea like and I don’t know if you guys have ever read the book take the THS by a guy

24:37 called Rory biten and it’s basically like about doing the hard things first right and he talks about this like metaphor in it where there’s cows and

24:44 there’s Buffalos and the way that they react to a storm is cows run away from it and if the storm is chasing them they’re in the storm for longer whereas

24:51 buffalos charge Into the Storm and so they’re through the storm faster right and so charging the storm is this kind

24:56 of idea of like do the hard things first lean into the difficult things and come out the other side of them faster and I

25:03 think that like USPS is really giving people like an opportunity to do that right now they’re not just saying like

25:09 hey send more mail because it’s your highest converting Channel or it’s a part of like any like well formulated

25:15 Omni Channel orchestration like they’re saying lean into direct mail right now because like we want to get through this

25:20 tough economic time with you we want to give you the tools to get there and we want to give you ways to like innovate

25:25 and engage people with these discounts it’s not just a discount for the sake of a discount it’s a discount to say press

25:31 something new connect with your end recipient in new ways right so um if anything like these tools that have been

25:38 around for a while are now maybe more important than ever 100% agreed it it it’s it’s I

25:46 couldn’t agree more it’s when there’s something that’s blocking you there’s the people that can front and head on and then there’s the people who run away

25:52 from it and and and and marketing is the one thing that you don’t want to back

25:59 off on as I stated before you’ve got an industry that is quieting down there’s

26:04 so much noise in marketing everybody’s getting what 10,000 marketing messages a day and in a time of economic slowdown

26:13 maybe that noise is a little less so this is the time where your marketing dollar actually will go a little further

26:19 and to me it’s logical but some people are like oh I’m making less money my margins are down I don’t want to spend a

26:25 penny more well I’ll tell you what fine don’t spend a penny more but don’t spend a penny less okay at least keep your

26:32 budget the same um so there’s also a lot more real estate in the mailbox right

26:38 now I mean if you look at marketing mail volumes were down I say that there’s a ton of opportunity there so take

26:46 advantage of it and take advantage of the postage incentives with it yeah to your point what uh when we talk

26:52 to clients you’ve got like you said Brad 10,000 marketing messages a day most of them are digital we get hundreds of

26:58 emails per day if you don’t see it below the fold it’s gone so unless you’re looking at it at the moment you’re very

27:05 hard pressed to see that email dozen mailers a day maybe in your mailbox the

27:11 competition for attention is just less and so the the technology discounts can help you now actually get in front of

27:18 your customers in a way that you wouldn’t be able to before right uh with the retargeting if you’re a small

27:24 business that’s competing against Lulu Lemon or Athleta you can’t compete with their digital retargeting budget but you

27:31 can absolutely compete in the mailbox and win that customer’s attention 100%

27:36 and may maybe Ray knows the answer this but you know being probably one of the older gentlemen on this panel I remember

27:43 as a kid and I’d go to my mailbox you know and pick up the mail after school and bring it in as one of my chores it

27:48 would literally be this fit of Flyers newsletters now you know I live in a in

27:55 a decent neighborhood that would be Target targeted by everything you could imagine if I get four pieces a day in my

28:01 mailbox that’s a lot and and that includes the bills too most of the bills are online now anyway right is there any

28:09 sort of metric on how many pieces are in people’s mailboxes per day per household

28:16 there’s absolutely a metric and I know what the trend is but I can’t give you the exact number was kind of interesting

28:22 up until around 1980 the volume of mail was just tracking absolutely with GDP

28:28 and then since then with the digital diversion more and more is being done digitally and that that number’s been

28:33 coming down and down um but you know it’s it it continues to be there and the messages that are there are tremendously

28:41 powerful because they have that that breathing space they don’t have the competition I mean I don’t know about

28:47 but I’m two to 300 emails in my mailbox every day I have to go machine gun

28:52 delete stuff just to go home with a clear conscience and not a full mailbox so

28:57 it’s if it’s purely a fight for eyeballs male wins hands down now we’re preaching

29:04 to the choir here so I don’t want to you know sit here and feather our own nest we know this stuff the point is is that

29:11 some of the clients need to know this stuff you know but let let me Mo move

29:16 into data for Chris here you know data has become a

29:22 very important tool on targeting mail yes mail is expensive so taret tting and

29:28 who you’re targeting is even more important so Chris can you discuss a little bit about the targeting the data

29:35 and and how that will affect the growth in Roi of mail on the long run absolutely the good news is that the

29:41 data is getting better um and that you know leveraging your own database your

29:47 CDN your you know CRM systems and the like but also looking at the data from a

29:52 customer or a prospect perspective we’re getting better data about intent we’re getting better data about Behavior you

29:58 can get better data about keyword searches you can get better data that links emails to postal to website

30:06 traffic um our friends and partners at flow code have better data in terms of figuring out activity and devices time

30:13 of day so the scanning Technologies the attribution some of that stuff is you

30:19 know you try to knit together but for a general marketer or business person the data that you have can be appended and

30:27 utilized in more ways than ever and so what that means is that you can Target better in the end of the day you know

30:33 you it’s better to send um 5,000 highly targeted very relevant mailers than

30:41 20,000 mailers that are cast into the wind um because R PE marketers and

30:46 businesses now are looking for the better return on investment and return on ad spend rather than just sheer

30:53 volume and so the good news is that if you talk to the right folks and listen the right partners and Stitch the data

30:59 together you can find those folks right you can find the people who are more likely to respond more likely to engage

31:05 based on a variety of data sources um it’s too um complex to talk about all

31:11 the iterations possible in a call like this but just think that there are over 60,000 types of lists that are available

31:18 um in terms of prospecting and in terms of behavior and intent data in terms of data modeling and then you every

31:25 business has their own data themselves creating that bridge between the data that you have and what you know and the

31:31 data that you want in terms of prospecting has been built um and uh so it’s better than it ever has

31:38 been I think agree I was gonna ask Cory I want I’ve got a specific I want to

31:43 tell a little story and then I’m gonna ask you the question so you know I I sort of got kind of hooked on QR codes a

31:50 year two years ago or whatever and you know we did a we did a mailing for our own business to to our own industry

31:57 indry and we sent out one postcard that had you know a tiny QR code and all of

32:04 the text and all of the images and I I think we got like something like I don’t know couple of couple of scans and

32:10 remember we sent out a postcard with nothing but our logo and a giant QR code we had like a 25% scan ratio you know it

32:19 was like I mean I knew it was out of curiosity and people just want to know what the heck is this and a lot of the

32:25 forms weren’t filled or anything but it was unbelievably high and I think people were upset I mean it was a little bit of

32:31 a bait switch but those are the two extremes you know so Corey there’s still

32:37 a ma I think you’ll agree with this a majority of maale goes out without a code right or

32:43 wrong yes I would say you know credit to the USPS again where the promos

32:50 incentivized for people to start testing I think are they utilizing the best

32:56 practice so that they can see that Roi in real time engagement probably not I think

33:01 there’s a lot of room to grow 100% so what would be your argument if you’re talking to a guy who’s like listen I’ve

33:08 been sending these postcards for you know 10 years and I get my you know 2.3%

33:14 response I’ve got my methods why would I want to put a code on it what what what’s the advantage it works now why

33:20 mess with it ain’t broke don’t fix it yeah I mean there’s a there’s a lot of ways that you can go about that right I

33:27 think you go back to to Morgan where I mean if if any direct

33:33 marketer had a you know digital campaign that had the con the con engagement and

33:40 conversion rates that you’re able to see in real time with direct mail they would

33:45 be ecstatic so you can you can take the data route um from a from an engagement

33:51 standpoint I like to talk about it in terms of personalization where

33:57 that’s that’s where that’s what people are used to on digital where you know

34:03 the the experience that I am getting in my email inbox or social feed is unique

34:10 to me and personalized to me you’re now able to do that in the mailbox which

34:16 we’ve already identified as something that you have a you have an opportunity to own because there’s a lot less

34:23 competition but now you can actually turn a you know static piece of paper with you know Brands already taking

34:31 advantage of variable data and on the actual piece to extending the

34:36 personalization to the experience right again we’re turning any any point of

34:44 Interest into a point of action and when that point of action has personalized

34:50 data feeding onto my Mobile screen the the increase in conversion is is

34:57 incredible um and so that’s really where I would I would push um the the audience

35:02 on this call Brands printers to to Really uh to really try try to adopt a

35:07 little bit more I agree 100 perc I mean I I almost think if you’re not putting a code on a piece of print you’re you’re

35:15 you’re losing engagement that could be picked up and even if you’re not getting certain engagement the information on

35:21 what people are responding to is reduced significantly you know the real

35:28 I mean it’s as good as an email then you know or or or a personalized ad that someone clicks on the information get

35:35 back so I agree yeah definitely I think the I mean Chris was obviously mentioning all the you know the lists

35:42 and targeting capabilities that you can use to to you know lead into your

35:48 campaigns the the interesting thing about flow code scans is that you’re now

35:54 able to use that as another me means to identify a unique cohort right if

36:00 someone’s if you have a if you have a a percentage of your audience that is

36:06 scanning more than three times I think you would probably want to interact with

36:11 those individuals in a different way even from the people that just scanned once right and maybe they scanned on a

36:18 Tuesday morning you start to get an understanding of how you can engage with

36:23 them and retarget them in new ways just just based on that interaction 100% I agree you know I

36:31 wanted to ask this question of Tyler and Morgan specifically because in terms of

36:37 of Technology enabled Direct Mail you know there’s a lot going on there what

36:42 do you think and and I’ll I’ll let Morgan start what do you think is the reason that some mailers have not

36:48 availed themselves to these technology advances that that you offer and I’ll ask the same question why haven’t why

36:55 isn’t everyone adop adopted lob.com you know what what do you think is the biggest barrier in adoption Morgan I

37:03 mean well there’s a couple of different things but in my experience you know I’ve been at this some time so I’ve had the opportunity to work with a lot of

37:10 different print mailers or you know prospected a lot of different print mailers for for these Technology based Solutions and I would say that one of

37:16 the main barriers is just having a traditional mindset you know they they have this resistance to change and they

37:22 prefer to stick with methods that have worked for them in the past they underestimate the benefits that the

37:27 technology can bring to direct mail campaigns and also underestimate the potential loss in business from not

37:34 embracing these Technologies and in additionally what I’ve experienced is that there’s account managers or aging out reps they don’t

37:41 want to learn about new technology they aren’t thirsty to use new tastics to go out and sell acquire a new business

37:46 they’re comfortable managing the business they have they create their own objections telling themselves that their

37:52 customers don’t have an interest in these Technologies or they won’t pay more and you know in all reality I have

37:57 to tell you it’s really unfortunate because the only thing constant is change and if you don’t have the ability

38:03 to adapt grow and change within the current ecosystem it’s inevitable that your business will be slow to grow right

38:10 and and I’ve had resellers that add our products onto bids and they acquire millions of dollars in new mail business

38:16 because they’re adding value for their direct mail customers and and mailers are losing business depers that are

38:22 taking advantage of these new technologies and are adding these value uh added components and you know the

38:28 last thing I want to say that you know one other thing that I see too is that I think that they might be a little bit fearful about the complex complexity uh

38:37 the implementation there might be challenges the learning curve wondering about the additional resources required

38:43 to implement programs like this um or just having like a contemp prior to investigation assuming it’s too hard or

38:49 it’s too complicated and you know this is our webinar so I I just have to put a little plugin for us here and say that

38:55 you know we do have one of the most comprehensive enhanced uh male Omni

39:01 Channel marketing platforms on the market and you know not to tut our own horn but we do a really great job at

39:07 providing access to most if not all of the resources that would be required to deploy something like this into a print

39:13 organization but at any rate I think as technology continues to advance and uh

39:19 its benefits become more apparent it’s likely that more direct mailers will gradually adopt these Innovations

39:24 because they want to stay competitive good absolutely and and Tyler you guys have a an absolutely disrupted platform

39:31 that never existed before you guys that I know of you’re you’re you a first to

39:37 market fully automated product what is

39:43 the I mean maybe you’ve already hit that critical mass but you know why isn’t every business or every every company or

39:50 or brand just lining up and do using your model what do you think is the

39:57 if I could answer that they’d make me CEO overnight that’s true that’s true what do you find is is the barrier is it

40:03 a resistance to the technology is it learning a new trick it you know so so

40:09 truly um I think like there’s a couple of things that it boils down to um number one is that like the types of

40:16 contacts that a software company plays well with are not necessarily the types of contacts that have been managing a

40:22 direct mail program historically and so like what we’re going in and we’re talking about with the Fortune 500

40:27 customers that we’re talking to is we’re talking about like a digital transformation of a program that may

40:32 have been the redhead setep child of your Omni Channel communication program

40:38 for decades right like you’re not getting the same type of data you’re comparing apples and oranges you know

40:43 that it works and so you’re putting money into it you know that you get a lift from it but your attribution rates aren’t perfect and that could have gone

40:50 from an online Source or could have come from a texting program or could have come from this you don’t really know

40:55 where these conversions are coming from but you know that it works right and so really what we try to do is we try to

41:02 come in with more of a baby steps approach and we say hey look heal off little chunks of your direct mail Program start running them through this

41:08 like I want everybody to wake up in the morning and I said this on a USPS um sales team call recently where I said I

41:15 want everybody to wake up in the morning I want to look them look themselves in the mirror and I want them to say Direct Mail is digital too and that’s the facts

41:22 right like now you have the ability you have modernized tooling that creates

41:27 parity between the programs that you used before and the direct mail and where you want your direct mail program

41:32 to actually be right and in doing so you can compare Apple to Apples on data you

41:37 can compare Apple to Apples on uh the life cycle of your program on your ability to convert new users but just to

41:44 get there requires that you have Buy in from people who aren’t maybe thinking of

41:49 their role in the direct mail program as one of job security where it’s like I control this I know how to control how

41:55 to control I’m the only one who’s controlling it and they’re thinking of it in terms of how do I make this better

42:01 how do I stop focusing on execution and start focusing on optimization and finding that con that that contact with

42:08 an organization can be really tough and I think it’s just part of like the slow transition into this kind of new world

42:14 of where Direct Mail is going um and we’re actually seeing that adoption rate pick up a little bit but you know in the

42:19 early days I mean people were like what do I need this for I got a whole department dedicated to this why would I need this software right and now we’re

42:25 starting to see that shift I I’m with you ATT track 100% And and one of the things um I want to go back to to Chris

42:33 there’s a few companies that are focused on people who don’t do mail a rising

42:39 tide lifs All Ships all right so somebody’s got to get out there and

42:44 bring in new blood that have never mailed before or maybe they mailed 20 years ago and they had a bad experience

42:50 and they just never picked it up and they’re fully immersed in their their social or digital uh marketing efforts

42:58 but there’s a few guys out there that are knocking on doors and bringing new potential Direct Mail customers into the

43:05 market and I know Chris you guys do that postcard Mania does it that’s where they focus so so based on that and I’m not

43:11 asking for any Trade Secrets here because I know you guys have a very specific Niche but what do you have you

43:18 seen that’s most successful in taking someone who hasn’t mailed in a while or has never mailed and bringing them into

43:25 the direct mail form well one of the things that we have found actually is it sounds like a overs

43:32 simple answer but it’s education um there are a lot of gen Z and Millennial

43:38 Talent out there and in fact gen Z Now is entering into the workforce and by 2025 is going to be 30% of the

43:45 workforce or 2026 something like that which seems like it’s going to be next year right it’s so fast um they’re all

43:52 digital natives they grew up with iPhones uh um they were born in

43:58 2000 um they had their iPhones in the family in 2008 they started to go on

44:04 Facebook now they’re off Facebook because it’s for the older people like me they’re on Instagram they’re on Tik

44:09 Tok um so the digital Comfort is really high they know nothing about direct mail

44:16 and so we find Brad that to bring people these new marketers and who are the decision makers right um they’re going

44:22 to try to create new customers and Tyler had emphasized you shown in the in the survey that new customer acquisition is

44:29 a challenge I wouldn’t be surprised if in every single survey every business from now until the dawn of time says

44:35 acquisition really a challenge of course it is it’s a challenge for everyone what you’re finding with the digital only

44:41 channels is that it gets harder even in those channels for customer acquisition

44:46 because of the saturation that we’ve mentioned and also because uh this next generation of buyers in gen Z are the

44:52 most Savvy consumers in the history of planet Earth they know when they’re being marketed to they don’t mind being

44:58 marketed to but they need to be marketed to in a relevant way that speaks to them and so educating new marketers about how

45:04 to reach that audience with direct mail is the way to go um because they don’t know it they don’t understand it um they

45:11 think it’s old they don’t quite know how it how it works and they might have in their mind Oh you mean like Bed Bath and

45:17 Beyond is that direct mail that 20% coupon oh that’s direct mail and so we

45:22 have to kind of overcome that baring no no no Direct Mail is actually it’s data driven it’s highly targeted it’s

45:27 incredibly personalized and there’s a variety of offline to online tools that you can use to engage the user in a

45:33 variety of channels and it’s part of your overall mix and here’s how it works suddenly when you say something like

45:39 that they’re like all right I’m curious I’m trying to learn more because my my CMO my director says get me new

45:46 customers and I start flooding my digital Airwaves and I’m like crap I’m not getting new customers and so giving

45:52 them an opportunity to learn how to get new customers with this new channel Channel I find is one of the easier uh

45:58 easier paths forward I mean it’s this highly specialized industry right and like

46:04 people speak this direct demand language that they’ve been speaking for 30 40 some odd years right and so if you’re

46:09 coming into it brand new you’re not only having to learn this language but you’re also having to have a procurement type

46:16 relationship with a manufacturing vendor right of some type and so like that’s really intimidating for somebody who’s

46:22 like a modern marketer who’s used to use utilizing modern tools tools right like I don’t have to be able to speak

46:28 knowledgeably about like um like transport layer security protocols in

46:33 order to send an email right but I do have to be able to understand postage saturation in order to have a

46:40 conversation about direct mail right and so for all of us software companies here in order to like really engage that genz

46:47 audience it’s abstracting way the specialization of the industry and providing a lower barrier to entry to

46:54 say you want to send direct mail start sending your tomorrow you want to send an email campaign you can start sending an email campaign tomorrow we want to

47:00 make it as easy as possible for you to take that step and to be able to say I’m

47:05 deploying tracking managing this message and I’m able to track how well converts

47:12 as compared to my other stuff in the exact same theem CDP marketing automation platform it’s all Apples to

47:18 Apples right yeah go ahead go ahead you as Tyler was

47:25 saying you know we’ve been having the last bit of the conversation been how do you add digital to direct mail and I think the you know

47:31 where Tyler is going is I think perhaps even in more interesting is there’s a number of people who are you know the

47:37 the genz the Gen who may have never used direct mail and they may have a be working an organization where the CMO

47:43 has never used direct mail so they they don’t know how to do that they do however have all these digital platforms

47:49 and they’ve got a CRM or they’ve got a CDP where they’ve got customer information and being able to talk to

47:55 them about the fact that you know right now you’re getting a 10th of 1% response rate on your best desile and you know

48:02 that means that 999 out of a thousand opportunities are just going away because they’re not responding and being

48:08 able to talk to them and say you know you could get 5% 10% of that and

48:14 significantly increase their new sales by adding in direct mail to that and

48:20 then using tools such as lob or such as other ones that are out there in order

48:26 to make it absolutely easy so you can hit that button take the creative you’ve already got for your social media turn

48:33 that into a postcard add a QR code better yet a circular QR code so that it

48:38 has a high response rate um and be able to measure the effectiveness and then all of a sudden you’re measuring on a

48:43 cost per acquisition basis and you can really see how that all works together and so the technology is enabling the

48:50 digital natives to add direct mail and we just need to get that word out

48:56 something that not print focused and I I I gave that caveat in the in the you know beginning of the call but something

49:03 that you know analogous example to to where flow code sees Direct Mail going

49:09 we actually kind of already have seen it in the TV World um and video right three

49:15 four years ago we were beating on door is saying you have no

49:22 idea you don’t have any direct connection you don’t have data um let us

49:27 test with you uh let’s let’s figure this out together fast forward I don’t know if

49:33 anybody was watching the the Black Friday um Amazon Prime uh game but it

49:40 was bothering you guys are all over the place there there’s a lot of there’s a lot of there’s a lot of direct

49:45 connections with with QR happening um and flow code and you know that’s that’s

49:52 three short years of of people kind of having having that aha moment so I think

49:58 that we’re we’re a little bit on that Journey already but the the look

50:03 yourself in the mirror and say you know Direct Mail is digital it’s already starting to happen um but if it it can

50:11 if it can happen with 80% of the local TV stations across the country it can

50:18 happen with direct mail and that I mean that’s what that’s kind of how we’re we’re looking at it and with TV there

50:25 isn’t really the ability to personalize right it’s a singular unit and and and

50:30 now with Direct Mail you’re actually holding something it can be personal to you it’s you’re even you’re taking it a

50:36 step further so um just wanted to share that example but pretty interesting great example agreed just before we uh

50:45 break for some from Q&A at the end I wanted to ask each of you guys and and I’m I’m hoping it can be an impartial

50:51 answer but I’d like to know from each of you guys what do you think has been the

50:57 biggest game Cher to direct mail in the last couple of years what do you think has had the biggest impact whether it’s

51:03 a technology product a hardware product a manufacturing product um something USPS has done or perhaps not done what

51:10 has had the biggest impact on Direct Mail in the last couple years and uh

51:15 let’s let’s start with Tyler and then we’ll see where we go from there um I

51:20 think like um if I’m thinking um impact per

51:26 release uh informed visibility data and the intelligent mail barcode has

51:32 absolutely revolutionize the way that people send direct mail um like and that’s we are built on the backbone of

51:40 informed visibility like I like to say all the time like look it’s and I said this in the Q&A section like it’s usps’s

51:47 job to create infrastructure right and it’s our job as software companies to turn that into something that’s like

51:52 beautiful and adoptable and something that people really want to engage with with and um build their programs around

51:58 and I think like form visibility is a really great example of that it’s not perfect we don’t get all the data that we want out of it but as it’s grown over

52:04 the years I mean we’ve gotten to the point now where USPS has Geo fenced

52:10 every single mailbox in the country and we have GPS data from every single truck when they drop a mail piece into that

52:16 mailbox it’s incredible like that’s something that if you look at like Royal Mail or Deutsche Post or leost or

52:23 Australia Post or like any of these huge mail carriers around the world they’re not even coming close with Canada Post

52:28 is like a decade away from the type of innovation that USPS has created for us and so just like bang for your buck

52:35 Innovation the ability to track the life cycle of a mail piece end to end and to trigger through like a web hook or an

52:41 API endpoint like this is out for delivery I’m gonna hit this person with a text you can’t do that anywhere but

52:47 the US right and like so I think that’s a that’s a pretty incredible Innovation fantastic Corey you got something to

52:53 chime in here on oh I was I was interested to see if Ray

52:58 agrees I’m joking no I I look the the informed delivery is huge right that

53:04 that tells you from the entire you know Logistics process to

53:10 delivery obviously where I sit is the next piece right where it’s in your

53:16 household are they engaging with it and so maybe less of a technology because QR

53:23 has existed but more so of a mindset shift is that you know QR is

53:32 ubiquitous you know people know how to engage with it their mobile phones now

53:39 have a better experience post scan because everyone has the you know a

53:45 newer version of a of a of a Android Android or iPhone where the you know

53:51 mobile web browsing is 10 times better than when you know 10 years ago when everyone was in the print world was

53:57 testing QR um and so that that kind of has opened the door for another another

54:04 means to test this new new engagement piece um so I mean I would I would say

54:10 less so from a technology standpoint and more so just you know the pandemic teaching

54:16 everybody this new way to engage and go from an offline medium directly to a

54:21 conversion Point good all right Chris what what do you say I mean we don’t have a

54:26 manufacturer here but you know I I I I have a pretty clear answer from my

54:32 perspective because I’ve been in the industry since the late 1800s um but I can see that you are older

54:39 than I can see that uh the direct mail retargeting retargeting a website visitor to me was one of the most

54:48 gamechanging Innovations for Direct Mail simply because it brought non- mailers

54:53 into mail um when we started to launch our own program someone asked me she

54:59 they said well who do we get I said well 80% of our um modern iio Direct Mail retargeting customers if not more but at

55:06 least 80% will be brand new to Modern that’s interesting it’s their first step in

55:13 yeah it’s their first step into direct mail so if I’m an e-commerce company that’s never done catalog that’s never done Direct Mail uh Direct Mail ret

55:21 targeting is a no-brainer it’s their first exposure and experience into mail um because it makes so much sense in

55:27 terms of where the customer journey is so I think that in the last X number of years that I’ve been in this industry

55:33 that’s been to me the biggest driver and wouldn’t you say that the behind what

55:39 you said and and and Tyler and everybody else behind behind most of us would you

55:45 agree that the high-speed variable data inkjet printer uh things are key to

55:51 almost every one of our business growth so you know where whereas you know obviously I want to plug my own product

55:59 but I think behind most all of what we’re doing is predicated on some of

56:04 these new print manufacturing devices that have helped us grow would that

56:09 right that get some consensus here Absol absolutely yeah absolutely good yeah I

56:15 think that you know what we’ve been hearing over the last few examples are all sort of subsets of how can you

56:21 deliver a more highly valued direct mail piece two people and it starts off with

56:27 data in order to do the targeting so it’s not spray and prey that it was 40 years ago and then it gets into that

56:32 personalized message where using the data in order to figure that out use a digital printer in order to um to give

56:40 that personalized message with a personalized QR code so that when you scan it you know who the person had when

56:45 the person arrives at that website that they can have a personalized experience that’s all things that people are used

56:51 to on the digital side and now we’re able to deliver that in a mechanism that

56:56 is so much more effective than a digital screen and I think that to me that’s where it’s all come from agree agree

57:03 100% Morgan I didn’t let you uh pipe in on this one did you have something you wanted to add I mean all good points I I

57:11 think that the utilization of technology to show attribution to an offline channel has been just so remarkable

57:16 because just to further expound when Ray was talking about the spray and prey method I think that historically male

57:23 was very challenging ing to track and unfortunately marketers that were using mail as a channel really didn’t have the

57:30 tools to really show what they were getting out of their direct mail campaign so I think that that tracking

57:35 and attribution has just been a total GameChanger and then you know Brad you talking about uh you know machinery and

57:43 equipment I mean how about the ability to add uh texture and scent and you know

57:49 all of these other different features to mail that even further improve the response above and beyond what we were talking talking about today with multi-

57:55 Channel and onom the channel exactly and Ju Just to wrap up I think we’ve only sort of reached the tip

58:02 of the iceberg of what’s to come in the next five years I mean with the with the

58:07 widespread use and availability of AI to help targeting and help creative and help modeling of of of targeting issues

58:15 I think that that’s going to become a big game Cher I think is we are all become more integrated with each other

58:21 and simplifying the process there’s a barrier with a lot of this technology is

58:26 you know you got to go to Tyler for one thing and Corey to another thing and you know your local printer for another

58:32 thing and you know there’s there’s a lot of segmentation or uh diversification

58:39 this industry and I think the more that we can work together to integrate our products to make it as seamless as

58:46 possible for the user whether it’s a commercial printer or a brand I think is

58:51 where we’re really going to see the biggest benefit and uh I see I I’m completely bullish on the

59:00 future of direct mail I think that the in terms of something that we know already has the highest Roi or or

59:09 engagement rate over ads or email is only going to get better with some of the tools and as we improve our

59:15 Integrations with other types of Technologies so this is all good

59:21 and this industry ain’t going anywhere it’s only getting bigger so uh I I know

59:27 time is up I’m monitoring the chat and the questions most of them are comments very positive comments that we will

59:33 share I’m not having any direct questions other than that will there be a recording of This webinar there will

59:39 be um there there was one question here that Jamie was asking he was saying that

59:44 he uses co-mingling and hasn’t had an opportunity to take advantage of some of the discounts so I mean for us we have

59:51 resellers that co-mingle their mail and they do do have the ability to take advantage of the informed delivery

59:57 discount they just have to make sure that the serial numbers are sequential or that their co-angler is aware that uh

1:00:03 that they’re using the promo I mean so I think that there there are ways that you can take advantage of those those

1:00:09 discounts even if you’re Co mangling for sure and if you have any questions on that pleas please reach out to your

1:00:15 salesperson or to The Postal Service you know we’ve we’ve got a group that works with everybody doing their promotions so

1:00:21 if you’re having technical challenges let us know some of them you know the the first year of the um the growth

1:00:27 incentive we were limiting it to to people where the incentive goes to the actual um brand person paying for it but

1:00:33 that’s first year for future years um we hopefully will be able to expand that more thank you Ray and and I want to

1:00:40 wrap up and and thank the entire panel and everybody that showed up uh great conversation in the chat and lot of

1:00:48 participation and yes a recording will be made and I’m sure it’ll be up on social media and email to attendees or

1:00:54 Reg strs within the next 48 to 72 hours so guys have a great week thank you again and uh let’s keep the ball moving

1:01:01 forward and making things happen

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